Beech Starships Becoming Museum Pieces


What a difference 20 years makes. It was late 1983, at that year’s NBAA annual meeting, that Beech brought down the house with a flyover of a scaled version of its proposed all-composite turbopusher, the Starship 2000. Last year, Beech’s new owner Raytheon announced it would scrap the 40-odd airframes it was leasing and developed a buy-back program for the 10 or so copies in private hands. Still, the one-of-a-kind airplanes remain popular — with museums. Several aviation museums have requested and/or have received a donated Starship. Now, the McMinnville, Ore.,-based Evergreen Aviation Museum has received one, which will be added to its collection, including the worlds most famous flying boat (Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose”) and the worlds fastest aircraft (Lockheed’s SR-71 Blackbird).